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Indiana State Legislator Gail Riecken is the recipient of the 2016 Making Democracy Work Award from the League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana. 
 
Gail has served as a Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing the 77th District, since 2009. She was also the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Evansville in 2015. Prior public-service positions include the Evansville City Council from 1989-99, Executive Director of the Evansville Parks and Recreation Department,  Business Relations Specialist for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Neighborhood Coordinator for the Community Action Program.
 
Gail's extensive list of community involvement includes Ark Crisis Prevention Nursery Co-Founder, Family & Children Services Board Member, Conrad Baker Foundation Director, HOPE of Evansville President, Junior League President, the Preservation Alliance Board, Pigeon Creek Greenway Advisory Board member, Evansville Dance Theater Board President, and the Pigeon Creek Greenway Advisory Board, the Little Lambs Board, Citizens against Rape in Evansville, and Local and State Child Abuse Prevention Board member and Task Force Coordinator. 
 
 
 
 

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Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush is the recipient of the 2015 Making Democracy Work Award from the League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana.

Loretta Rush took the oath of office as Indiana's 108th Supreme Court Justice on November 7, 2012 and became Chief Justice on August 18, 2014.  She serves on the Commission on improving the Status of Children in Indiana and has represented Indiana multiple times at the National Judicial Leadership Summit on the Protection of Children.  She serves as liaison to the Division of Supreme Court Administration, the Division of State Court Administration, the Indiana Judicial Center, the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity, and the Indiana Judges Association, and chairs the Judicial Nominating/Qualifications Commission.

As juvenile court judge in the Tipecanoe County Superior Court for 14 years, she assisted with the creation of the county's CASA program.  During her tenure, she helped initiate, develop and sustain more than 25 youth programs. 

Judge Rush was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Women's Equality Day Luncheon in Evansville. 

 

 

 

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Indiana State Senator Vaneta Becker is the receipient of the 2013 Making Democracy Work Award from the League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana.

Senator Becker has represented southwestern Indiana since 1981, serving in the Indiana House of Representatives until 2005, and in the Indiana Senate since then.

During that time she has worked tirelessly to represent her district, and she has received numerous awards for outstanding service at the state level. Honoring groups include the Indiana Area Agencies on Aging, the Indiana Coalition for Human Services, Leadership Evansville, the Indiana Retired Teachers Association, the Evansville Teachers Association, the Albion Fellows Bacon Center, Ark Crisis Center, Komen Evansville Affiliate, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, the Indiana Coalition gainst Domestic Violence, Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care, the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education, the  Indiana Home Care Task Force, the Lampion Center, ALCOA, USI Alumni Association, and the Indiana Association of Ophthalmologists.

She is on the Board of the ARK Crisis Prevention Nursery as well as the Indiana Commission on Women. 

 

  

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Jim Daniels was the recipient of the 2012 Making Democracy Work Award.

Mr. Daniels was honored for his years of dedication and leadership to the Meet Your Legislators meetings.  He served as organizer and moderator for many years.  The Award was presented at the February 25th session of Meet Your Legislators at Central Library in Evansville and was signed by League President Lezlie Simmons and Indiana State Senator Vaneta Becker.

Mr. Daniels has also been active with Sustainable Evansville and the Izaak Walton League of Indiana.  He served as Evansville recycling coordinator for many years.

 

 

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Retiring Indiana Representative Dennis Avery was the recipient of the League's third annual Making Democracy Work.  The award "honors a leader who has contributed in a meaningful way to ensure our community remains a strong and vibrant place to live and work."

Avery, who retired at the end of the 2010 legislative session, was honored for his 36 years of service to the 75th District and the state of Indiana.  League president Roberta Heiman commented that "During his Statehouse career, Avery pushed for legislation dealing with children's rights, including reporting child abuse and neglect and the creation of programs to help prevent further incidents."

The award was presented at the April 8th, 2010 Lunch with the League at the YWCA. 

 

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Vanderburgh County Clerk Susan K. Kirk was the recipient of the second annual Making Democracy Work Award in 2009. The 2008 MDW honoree was Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepherd, honored for his work on the Kernan-Shepherd report on streamlining local government.

Ms. Kirk was instrumental in establishing polling stations in the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Libraries during the 2008 and 2009 elections, making the election more accessible to Vanderburgh County residents.  She also cooperated with a League survey of poll workers that led to several changes in the training of these workers.

Kirk gets Making Democracy Work award for early voting

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The 2008 MDW honoree was Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepherd, honored for his work on the Kernan-Shepherd report on streamlining local government.